Paul Krugman on Mitt Romney as the "confidence fairy," who believes that optimism will sprout economic growth if he is elected president:
In fairness to Mr. Romney, his assertion that electing him would spontaneously spark an economic boom is consistent with his party’s current economic dogma. Republican leaders have long insisted that the main thing holding the economy back is the “uncertainty” created by President Obama’s statements — roughly speaking, that businesspeople aren’t investing because Mr. Obama has hurt their feelings. If you believe that, it makes sense to argue that changing presidents would, all by itself, cause an economic revival.Bill Moyers and Michael Winship weigh in on the Mitt's secretly taped heart-to-wallet chat with hoi oligoi:
There is, however, no evidence supporting this dogma.
If you had reported as long as some of us have on winner-take-all politics and the unenlightened assumptions of the moneyed class, you wouldn’t find the remarks of Romney and his pals all that exceptional. The resentment, disdain and contempt with which they privately view those beneath them are an old story.Ta-Nehisi Coates in We Are All Welfare Queens Now:
In fact, the video’s reminiscent of our first Gilded Age, back in the late 19th century. The celebrated New York dandy Frederick Townsend Martin summed it up when he declared, “We are the rich. We own America. We got it, God knows how, but we intend to keep it.”
More to the point, as tactics aimed at suppressing black citizenship become more abstract, they also have the side-effect of enveloping non-blacks. Atwater's point that the policies of the Southern Strategy hurt blacks more than whites is well taken. But some whites were hurt too. This is different than the explicit racism of slavery and segregation. During slavery white Southerners never worried about disenfranchising blacks. After slavery they needed poll taxes and the force of white terrorism. After white terrorism was routed and the poll tax outlawed, they targeted the voting process itself. But at each level what you see is more non-black people being swept into the pool of victims and the pool expanding. [...]Roger Bybee looks at what Republican policies that Paul Ryan supports have done to the congressman's 1st District in Wisconsin:
In all this you can see the insidious and lovely foresight of integration which, at its root, posits an end to whiteness as any kind of organizing political force. I would not say we are there. But when the party of white populism finds itself writing off half the country, we are really close.
The results of Ryan’s policies and the resulting economic wreckage have been grimly predictable. The persistently high unemployment has been accompanied by rising signs of social disintegration and distress throughout most of the district.But in upsidedownism of the Romney-Ryan campaign, it's all Obama's fault.
E.J. Dionne wonders whether Obama will be able to govern if he wins. That, he writes, will be determined by who inside the Republican Party wins the battle over why Obama won (if he does):
The right-wing contention is simple: Romney was a lousy candidate, a closet moderate who didn’t offer the detailed conservative program in all its splendor and who “muzzled” Paul Ryan, an idea some Ryan partisans are leaking. If this side wins, the GOP will stick with obstruction and wait for the next election.Lee Fang explains the threat at the polls from a Koch group that is engaged in a massive voter mobilization campaign:
But Romney’s 47 percent remarks finally unshackled the more moderate conservatives who know how destructive the Ayn Rand/tea party approach to politics has been. Some are talking about a Republican organization, similar to the old Democratic Leadership Council, to pull the party closer to the center.
Koch is now financing more than 200 organizers and paid political staff in thirty-one states. Its likely much of the money Koch now donates to the NRA and groups like the Faith and Freedom Coalition (run by Tim Phillip’s longtime business partner, Ralph Reed), will also be spent on organizers on the ground. Using the Wisconsin model, Koch hopes to partner with local conservative groups to build a rapid mobilization system that can compete on Election Day, in every critical state.You could just about hear Eugene Robinson over the revelations of the secret videotape:
Too much attention is given to the television ads. The Koch network, which is actively training Tea Partiers, via a partnership with True the Vote, to harass and intimidate voters, may tip the scales in this election. And you won’t see their work on television, or through FEC disclosures (they refuse to register their grassroots electioneering as independent expenditures). Like Wisconsin, liberals might see the ground shifting beneath them, and wonder what happened.
To all the single parents holding down two minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet, all the seniors who saw their savings dwindle and had to go back to work part time, all the breadwinners who lost their jobs when private-equity firms swooped down to slash and burn—to all struggling Americans, it must come as a surprise to learn how irresponsible they’ve been. And it must be devastating to learn that, try as he might, Mitt Romney will never be able to show these unfortunates the error of their ways.Thomas V. DiBacco in Presidential debates: Shake hands and come out acting:
Romney might as well have quoted Cee Lo Green: “Forget you!”
Those of us who grew up with debating as an essential part of our high school curriculum recognize that debates don't measure leadership skills. They measure the ability to think quickly and speak coherently. The more prepared and articulate the speaker, with honed theatrical skills (in terms of eye contact, sincerity and, when appropriate, gestures and humor), the more likely he emerges the victor. It does not matter whether a debater presents the better argument — or, more important, has the leadership ability outside the debate forum to carry out his argument.Chris Lehmann on Paul Ryan's Randian roots:
Paul Ryan has never “built” a thing in his life—except for constructing a career out of a long series of disingenuous arguments to cut federal entitlements. Yet in the curious logic of modern conservatism, the 2012 GOP vice-presidential nominee is a horny-handed son of toil. Around the time his father died, the young Ryan launched himself toward independence, he has rushed to remind voters, via the late-20th-century equivalent of an apprenticeship in rail-splitting: He worked at McDonald’s. [...]Richard Silverstein calls a sham the soon-to-be announced delisting of the Iranian dissident group Mujahadeen e-Khalq from the U.S. roster of terrorist groups. That delisting is a product lobbying and speaking fees applied in the right places by the Guardian newspaper's investigative reporters:
Like Ryan, many of the signature members of the D.C.-based Rand cult are obsessive climbers, trying desperately to persuade themselves that they’re creative and world-conquering iconoclasts. In this one limited sense, Paul Ryan may well be the ideal running mate for Mitt Romney.
Analysts writing about the MEK and alienated members reject the group's claim that it has renounced terror. Seymour Hersh recently published an expose reporting that as late as 2007, US special forces had offered Iranians training at a secret Nevada facility in covert operations. It provided them arms and communications equipment and black ops training for their anti-regime terror activities inside Iran.Jim Hightower blasts the myth-making propaganda and attitudes that keep the minimum wage at a miserly level.